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February 06, 2019 / Wednesday Chat with Bill

Swan: Bill - I agree with being tired of the "I deserve to be happy" comments, especially when it hurts so many people. I know my husband told me that as well and in just a matter of months after he married the other woman he was telling friends that he was miserable. I don't know details, but my husband has apparently moved to Texas and the other woman is not with him and from what he is telling people she isn't going to join him at anytime. It is so sad how these MLCer's spiral down in their pursuits to be happy and most of the times become more unhappy.

Bill: Swan: Exactly, the "happy" pursuit is just code for selfish, self-centered choices that make everyone else pay a price for my agenda. Life is not a "happy" experience. It is a comprehensive journey that includes success and failure, joys and pains, growth and maturity, tragedies and grieving and the discovery of eternal hope that makes things right for eternity. To boil it down to simply be happy, we are missing the point. As a result, anyone who settles for the pursuit of happiness at the expense of the other realities, does damage on all fronts.

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February 06, 2019 / Wednesday Chat with Bill

Swan: Hi Bill

Bill: Hi Swan. How are you tonight?

Swan: I have been emailing with a woman, she is going to try to come in tonight, her husband still lives at home and she isn't ready for him to know she has been looking at MLD. He is very openly having an affair with their neighbor, doesn't seem to care who knows, even tells her he is going to this woman's house when she asks him where he is going when he says he is going out. The neighbor is a newly divorced woman and she has confronted her, the neighbor told her that she is just having fun, she doesn't want her husband. Apparently she doesn't care about ripping a family apart in pursuit of her fun.

Swan: Bill - I am doing good. Are you traveling or home enjoying this chilly weather here in So Cal?

Bill: Swan: Thank you for the heads up on the woman you have been emailing. It is truly remarkable the guile people can live with and the disregard they can project on people they once loved. Thanks for being there for her.

Swan: Bill - she says the worst part is that her husband is telling his two teenage sons about his relationship with this neighbor and excuses it by saying he used to love their mother very much and still cares for her, but doesn't love her anymore and he deserves to be happy.

Bill: Swan: I am a little of both - We are on the road doing several events this week but they are all in So Cal. It was stunning to me this morning to realize it was warmer today in Southern Indiana where two of my kids live than it was in sunny Southern California.

Bill: Swan: I suspect there is probably a generational component to his actions. It creates so much damage to say things like this and it "trains" the sons to act like dad when they get older. It would be interesting to know what her H's dad did when he was a teenager. It is not always this way but worth asking.

Bill: Swan: I am also getting very tired of the saying, "I deserve to be happy."

Swan: Bill - She says she has read many of the articles on the website and finds them very helpful. We actually have several members and people sign up all the time but just don't seem to come into chat very often. At least we have information for them to view and help give them answers. I know when I first found the site, I read everything and it was almost two months before I finally came into chat.

Bill: Swan: I was talking with a friend who works in the insurance industry and he says there has been a significant change in the way people learn and make decisions. He claims most people want to do "private" research now before ever interacting with someone. It seems to be true in our experience.

Swan: Bill - I agree with being tired of the "I deserve to be happy" comments, especially when it hurts so many people. I know my husband told me that as well and in just a matter of months after he married the other woman he was telling friends that he was miserable. I don't know details, but my husband has apparently moved to Texas and the other woman is not with him and from what he is telling people she isn't going to join him at anytime. It is so sad how these MLCer's spiral down in their pursuits to be happy and most of the times become more unhappy.

Swan: Bill - thanks for reminding me of the generational component, I hadn't thought of that, but I am going to guess that it may be a factor.

Bill: Swan: Exactly, the "happy" pursuit is just code for selfish, self-centered choices that make everyone else pay a price for my agenda. Life is not a "happy" experience. It is a comprehensive journey that includes success and failure, joys and pains, growth and maturity, tragedies and grieving and the discovery of eternal hope that makes things right for eternity. To boil it down to simply be happy, we are missing the point. As a result, anyone who settles for the pursuit of happiness at the expense of the other realities, does damage on all fronts.

Swan: Bill - My father in law stayed with my mother in law until he passed away, 65 years and to anyone's knowledge he never had a relationship outside the marriage. But what he did do was work. When the kids were younger, he worked two jobs to provide for the large family they had. He slept the hours he wasn't at work, so he didn't really "have time" to interact with the family much. As the kids got older and some moved out, he worked only one job, but again he worked the graveyard shift, went to bed when he got home, the awake hours were spent doing tasks. My mother in law didn't drive, so he was responsible for most of the shopping and stuff. Thinking back, he was there but not really present. This explains why my husband always felt justified in having his “private time” and leaving me and the kids to ourselves. He had his moments, he got involved with Boy Scouts for some years, was very much involved with school stuff, but not really much else.

Swan: Bill - Although when he became an officer in the Corps, he expected me to fulfill my spousal obligations to improve his image.

Bill: Swan: Your description of your in-laws reminds me why we stay busy doing what we do. Marriage and Family relationships begin with commitment but need certain skills to thrive. Most people I encounter simply do what they grew up around (in some form) rather than pursue the skills that have been proven to help relationships flourish. I anticipate the passion in my heart to help others discover these skills will be with me until the grave.

Swan: Hi Brin

Brin: Hi Swan & Bill

Bill: Hi Brin

Brin: Bill, I want to follow up on one of your suggestions to me last week for clarification.

Bill: Brin - sounds great

Brin: Bill - Here it is (I copied your posts last week so that I could go over them later): (3) if I am right about the childhood issues, developing a plan to "rescue the girl" is going to be strategic. Those of us who were wounded as kids will often set up scenarios that trigger our responses from the past. Intellectually, you would think we would avoid this but the need to know why it happened causes us to repeat the emotions until we figure it out. It is not a good approach so we never figure out the why and never stop the triggering. Your H is definitely living out this scenario and I suspect you have a different version of it going on in your life.

Brin: Bill - can you please explain what plan and how I am supposed to approach this with my counselor? I am not sure that this is his forte even though he said he could work with me on this. He was talking about comparing scenarios between my marriages to find commonality and discover what parts of the little girl that I have suppressed in order to be socially acceptable.

Brin: Swan, Been reading the earlier posts. Sounds like it's chilly in Cal? Did you guys get the mudslides predicted a few weeks ago?

Swan: Brin - I haven't heard of any mudslides, but we are getting rain and it is chilly.

Bill: Brin: Let me use an example to help communicate this: Let's say there is a young girl who is sent to her room by her dad and then dad comes in screaming at her, telling how bad she is and what a probably encounter people (likely even marrying someone) who triggers off the emotional reactions she felt as a child. When these happen, a feeling of powerlessness sets in. When she was a child, it would have taken an adult to come to her rescue, stand down her dad and remove her from the "panic room" so she could get to a safe place. This probably never happened so the reactions remain. As an adult, we have the opportunity to rescue her. The plan ought to have a number of elements: 1. Identify the scenarios that trigger the emotional reactions. This is most likely what your counselor is referring to with comparing marriages to identify "parts of the little girl." 2. Confront the one who created the trigger. This is usually not something you do face to face. The abusive person is probably not cooperative and may not even be alive anymore. The key is to embolden your heart by confronting this person internally. I have found that writing a letter to the person who created the damage with a tone that says, "You no longer have any say in this place of my life," is highly effective - it must be direct and authoritative so the letter has an adult tone because you are "firing" this person from this place in your heart. 3. Redirect the emotional reactions. This is an adult giving permission to the child to respond differently. Sometimes it takes instructions from the adult, sometimes it takes soft encouragement. It always takes repetition and practice to establish new ways of reacting to replace the reaction that was programmed in from childhood. I hope that helps make it a little clearer.

Brin: Swan, No mudslides so far - that's good news. It's been crazy cold here. Had to work outdoors last 2 days.

Brin: Swan, I was trying to get home early enough to join chat but then when I got home, H was getting salad ready for etc.

Brin: Swan - Thanks for your prayers! Really appreciate them. Also, my doctor put me back on antibiotics because there is a little bit of redness. Would appreciate your prayers about that too. Thanks

Swan: Brin - definitely

Brin: Bill, Yes, it is a lot clearer now. Thank you!

Brin: Bill - so you are saying that the adult me needs to rescue the wounded child me, using the above-mentioned steps.

Bill: Brin: I am impressed you were able to sum it up that quickly. That is exactly right. When it happened to you as a child, an adult should have come to your rescue. When that doesn't happen, the "adult me" is the one who has to rescue the "wounded child me."

Swan: Bill & Brin - I did the letter to my stepfather and it helped me so much, I told him that I forgave him and meant it. It felt very freeing for me, he had been deceased several years, but it was for me because having that unforgiveness in my heart affected so many of my relationships with others, including my husband.

Brin: Bill - thanks. Great!

Brin: Bill & Swan - I have quite a few letters to write!

Swan: Brin - I wrote a few as well and with each it seemed to release the anger, bitterness and hatred, not only for them but myself. I had to write on to myself as well, it helped me accept that I wasn't worthless, I wasn't a bad person, but I had come to believe what I was being told and I needed to forgive myself for not accepting the me I really was and trying to be the me they were telling me I was. Example: I spent years being told and then believing that I made my stepfather molest me, the reality is that was his choice, his action and I didn't at any point "make" him do it.

Bill: Brin and Swan: Swan, thank you for sharing that. I did this same thing with my mom and I am so glad I did. I am not able to have rational conversations with my mom so it is impossible to work it out with her. I had an interesting experience when I realized I had discovered a new freedom. When my dad retired, my mom made matching dresses for her, my sister, my wife and my sister-in-law without telling anyone. To make it worse, she didn't do a good job making the outfits - seams weren't right and the fit was not attractive. I had a hunch my mom would do this so I told Pam, "If my mom made dresses, you are not going to try it on." I could never have done this as a child because my mom was abusively controlling. Sure enough, mom made the dress and tried to get Pam to try it on. I stood up and told mom it was not going to happen. I was kind but firm. Things got very quiet and I thought she might erupt like she has in the past and we might get uninvited from the retirement. Fortunately, she backed off. It was a great moment for me that validated the freedom I had found in my heart.

Brin: Swan, thanks for sharing. I think I have to write myself one too. My sponsor told me to do a 4th step on myself - to forgive myself and to be kinder to myself.

Brin: Bill - wow, thanks for sharing! That was very powerful what happened with you and your mom.

Bill: Brin: Well done. We need to both forgive and take authority. It is not just about releasing anger and feeling better. It is also about wrestling the reins of our development out of their hands so we can put the reins in Jesus' hands and move in a new direction. I wish you well!

Bill: Brin: Thanks. It was a good day!

Bill: All: Dinner is on the table so I am going to say good-bye. See you next week.

Swan: Night all, see you next week.

Brin: Bill - thank you so much. Enjoy your dinner! Night Swan!

Swan: Bill - I agree with being tired of the "I deserve to be happy" comments, especially when it hurts so many people. I know my husband told me that as well and in just a matter of months after he married the other woman he was telling friends that he was miserable. I don't know details, but my husband has apparently moved to Texas and the other woman is not with him and from what he is telling people she isn't going to join him at anytime. It is so sad how these MLCer's spiral down in their pursuits to be happy and most of the times become more unhappy.

Bill: Swan: Exactly, the "happy" pursuit is just code for selfish, self-centered choices that make everyone else pay a price for my agenda. Life is not a "happy" experience. It is a comprehensive journey that includes success and failure, joys and pains, growth and maturity, tragedies and grieving and the discovery of eternal hope that makes things right for eternity. To boil it down to simply be happy, we are missing the point. As a result, anyone who settles for the pursuit of happiness at the expense of the other realities, does damage on all fronts.

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